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The pictures included were taken during August 2007.
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Juggling Three Objects
Believe it or not three objects are easier to juggle than two, so to become a successful juggler you should start with three objects and work up. Three objects also look more impressive than two and since the reason you want to learn to juggle is to impress your friends that's all the better. Anybody can juggle, the only thing it requires is a bit of time and a small amount of coordination.
Step 1: Locate some objects
Professional jugglers usually pick two sorts of objects, dangerous things (like knives, chain saws, broken spirit bottles) or silly things (hats, rubber chickens, live fish). There is a remarkable lack of professional jugglers who's first juggling objects were chain saws (at least there's a remarkable lack of professional jugglers with all their kneecaps who's first juggling objects were chain saws).
So, find something soft and small like beanbags. Some people start with silk scarves or tennis balls. Scarf juggling is quite different from ball juggling and tennis balls tend to bounce around and roll under the furniture when you drop them (trust me, there will be lots of picking things up from the floor in the next few hours, you don't want to be moving the sofa around as well) so beanbags are the way to go.
Step 2: Learn failure
Take two objects in one hand, and one in the other. Throw them all up in the air. Watch them all fall to the ground. This is gravity. Juggling makes a mockery of gravity, gravity doesn't like being mocked.
The objects should have fallen in front of you. If they're all around the room or worse still in another room then you're either in space or you have no coordination. A study by NASA during the Apollo programme showed that juggling in space isn't very entertaining, so wait until you return to Earth.
You should get used to seeing the objects on the floor in front of you since this is the sight you'll be seeing fairly regularly for a while. Don't think of them as being objects on the ground, think of them as objects that were in the air.
Take one object and place it in one of your hands. Throw it in an arc across your chest and (attempt) to catch it with your other hand. The maximum height the ball should reach (or peak out) is about eye-level. Now throw the ball back to the first hand in the same way.
Don't worry if you keep dropping the ball, the secret of juggling is throwing, not catching. If you can throw the ball so that it comes down in the correct place, catching it is much easier. Keep practicing this with both hands until you think you've got it (or until you get bored with it).
Take two objects, place one in each hand (note for people with more than two hands, just put any extra hands in your pockets). Throw one of the objects as in Step 3. Now comes the tricky bit, when the first object peaks out throw the second object. Now catch the first object, then the second. The pattern should go throw, throw, catch, catch. You will end up with the objects in the opposite hands to when you started.
This sequence is fundamental to juggling any odd number of objects, practice it lots. When you can do this continuously for at least ten throws and catches, you're well on your way to becoming a juggler. At this stage you can go and show a friend what you've learned, but make sure it's a friend who's easily impressed and knows nothing about juggling or else they're liable to say "That's not juggling".
Step 5: Juggle!
Start with two objects in one hand and one object in the other. Throw one of the objects from the hand with two in the air. Now do exactly the same as you did in Step 4, as a ball peaks out throw from the hand it's heading for. If you can keep doing this you are juggling.
You are now a Juggler!
So, it went wrong and everyone's laughing at you. It's not time to consider a career as a Mime yet, check out the problems page.
So, you've followed the 5 steps to Juggling Three Objects, but you're still having some trouble. Here's a few common problems and solutions:
I have to keep stepping forward to make my catches
Almost everyone seems to do this when they start juggling, some people call it "Sprinting Juggler Syndrome". The problem is that you are throwing too far forward, so you have to lunge or step forward to make the catch. The accepted solution is to practise in front of a wall. This forces you to make your throws in a plane parallel to the wall.
I keep getting two objects coming down at the same time
Again, this is a throwing problem. Your throws are probably peaking out at different heights, leading to some objects taking longer to do an arc than others. You should practise your throws some more as in Step 3. I know it's boring, but it will pay dividends when you come to try some really cool stuff.
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